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July 26, 2007

Encourage your tenants to get insurance

It seems that at least on a weekly basis I see local news stories about renters who lose much of their personal belongings because of a fire, flood, storm or other property damage that also damages their contents. Often the reporters will comment that building was insured but the contents were not, and they show heart-breaking images of tenants sobbing that they’ve lost everything they own. I’ll resist going off onto a rant about media bias and just make my real estate investing-related point here:

Encourage your tenants to get renters’ insurance to cover their furnishings and personal belongings. Be sure they clearly understand that you have insurance ONLY on the building and fixtures you own and that they are responsible for insuring their belongings.

Indicate this in your rental agreement and consider going the extra step of asking tenants to initial that particular clause. If you have a multi-unit building with a community bulletin board or newsletter, periodically put up reminders about insurance.

If you’ve dealt with this issue, what have you done to motivate your tenants to protect themselves with renters insurance?

Jackie

July 24, 2007

Your comments are welcome

If you have something to say about the content of this blog, I’d love to read it – and I’m sure our readers would, as well. All we ask is that your comment pertain to the subject of the original post.

Please understand that we are not permitted to give specific investment advice and that issues related to your own training, subscriptions, and so on need to be handled by our student services team. Also, comments are moderated so that we can filter out the spam, so there may be a delay in publication.

So, please, speak up – tell us about your thoughts, your reactions, your experiences. After all, this blog is for you, and your participation will make it an even more valuable tool.

July 20, 2007

Wealth Intelligence Super Conference is less than a month away

Our conference team is in high gear getting ready for the Wealth Intelligence Super Conference in Las Vegas Aug. 16-19 at the luxurious Paris Hotel.

Our keynote speaker is Robert Kiyosaki, bestselling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. You’ll also hear Russ Whitney, Kim Kiyosaki, Marshall Sylver, and many more great speakers who will be there prepared to share their knowledge and experience with you.

This high-powered, high-energy conference is a one-of-a-kind event full of information and motivation. If you’re serious about building wealth, you’ll want to experience every exciting minute.

Click here for details on speakers, the schedule, special conference events, and accommodations. Then call 1-866-601-6152 to register.

See you in Vegas!

Jackie

Wealth Intelligence Super Conference is less than a month away

Our conference team is in high gear getting ready for the Wealth Intelligence Super Conference in Las Vegas Aug. 16-19 at the luxurious Paris Hotel.

Our keynote speaker is Robert Kiyosaki, bestselling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. You’ll also hear Russ Whitney, Kim Kiyosaki, Marshall Sylver, and many more great speakers who will be there prepared to share their knowledge and experience with you.

This high-powered, high-energy conference is a one-of-a-kind event full of information and motivation. If you’re serious about building wealth, you’ll want to experience every exciting minute.

Click here for details on speakers, the schedule, special conference events, and accommodations. Then call 1-866-601-6152 to register.

See you in Vegas!

Jackie

Wealth Intelligence Super Conference is less than a month away

Our conference team is in high gear getting ready for the Wealth Intelligence Super Conference in Las Vegas Aug. 16-19 at the luxurious Paris Hotel.

Our keynote speaker is Robert Kiyosaki, bestselling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. You’ll also hear Russ Whitney, Kim Kiyosaki, Marshall Sylver, and many more great speakers who will be there prepared to share their knowledge and experience with you.

This high-powered, high-energy conference is a one-of-a-kind event full of information and motivation. If you’re serious about building wealth, you’ll want to experience every exciting minute.

Click here for details on speakers, the schedule, special conference events, and accommodations. Then call 1-866-601-6152 to register.

See you in Vegas!

Jackie

July 19, 2007

Mansion, anyone?

I just received a news release pointing out that the 12th Anniversary Issue of the duPont REGISTRY: A Buyers Gallery of Fine Homes features the homes of Courtney Cox and David Arquette, 50 Cent, Cher and Smokey Robinson.

Courtney and Arquette are selling their 5,000 square foot Carbon Beach home, complete with 80 feet of beachfront, a private garden, media room and a dance and exercise studio.

50 Cent's 50,000 square foot Connecticut compound (previously Mike Tyson's humble abode) is also on the market as is Cher’s renovated Palm Springs Spanish-style home featuring granite finishes, mosaic tiles, Venetian plastered walls and cabinetry and Smokey Robinson's Henderson, Nev. hideaway.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to suggest that these are probably not great investment properties—but you might get some interesting rehab ideas from them.

Jackie

July 18, 2007

Beware of tragedy scammers

Yesterday a TAM Airlines Airbus 320 crashed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing everyone on board and a number of people on the ground.

Compounding this tragedy is that some scammers have launched an e-mail campaign, sending a message claiming to be from the airline that attempts to lure users into connecting to a website that contains code which, if downloaded as instructed, will install an information-stealing Trojan Horse program.

It’s understandable that if you had a family member or loved one on that flight, you would want information as quickly as possible, and the internet is a great resource. But don’t let worry and grief make you forget the basic rules of internet safety and security.

The victims of this horrible crash and their families are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope anyone who tries to take advantage of this sad situation is swiftly brought to justice.

Jackie

July 11, 2007

Baby boomers are starting their own businesses

More and more baby boomers are going to work for themselves rather than retiring. Some are enjoying tremendous success, others are failing, and still others are just treading water. A lot of things contribute to the differences, but one thing is sure: knowledge is essential to a successful operation.

AARP Magazine recently published a good piece, “Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business?”

If you’re ready to start your own business, consider a business in real estate investing and/or stock trading. Then invest in the education you need to make your effort profitable.

Jackie

July 10, 2007

Provide a safe home for your tenants

In the results of a recent poll by Apartments.com, 97 percent of respondents said that crime rate plays a significant part in their decision on where to live when choosing an apartment.

As a landlord, you can attract better tenants and reduce tenant turnover (which will increase your profits) by taking measures to create a safe environment for your tenants. If you own apartment buildings, consider exterior lighting in all public areas, including walkways, elevators, stairwells, laundries, garbage receptacles, and anywhere else a criminal might lurk. Organize a Neighborhood Watch program and encourage all your tenants to participate.

Whether you own apartments or single family homes, install deadbolts on all exterior doors and make sure windows can be locked securely. Install pins in the overhead frame of sliding doors (or a charley bar) to prevent those doors from being lifted off their tracks. Re-key all locks when a new tenant moves in and keep track of who has keys.

For additional information on providing a safe home for your tenants, visit the National Crime Prevention Council website.

Jackie

July 06, 2007

Interesting twist on college housing

Student housing is a great real estate investment niche, but here’s an interesting twist on university town housing: properties that target the people who come to town for college football games. It seems that affluent alumni are buying condos or perhaps houses near the university’s stadium so they have confirmed lodging for games—and then renting those units out when they’re not in town. A recent article in the Orlando Sentinel referred to the market as sports real estate.

If you’re interested in land development, this might be a market you want to research.

Jackie

July 03, 2007

Raising your FICO score – FICO changes credit scoring formula

You may have heard that it’s possible to raise your FICO credit score by becoming an authorized user on the account of someone else who has a high score.

FICO addressed that in a recent issue of their online newsletter, Ask myFICO. The short answer is that FICO is changing its credit scoring formula so that it no long considers accounts on which you are an authorized user but not actually responsible for the account. You can learn more about FICO scores at www.myfico.com.

Here’s the full message from FICO:

First a bit of background: FICO® scores originally considered authorized-user accounts because our scientists found that in some cases that information can help us determine a person's credit risk. By coincidence, some people found it also was a way for a parent to help another family member establish a credit history. For example, a parent might add a teenager as an authorized user to an existing credit card account. The teenager could learn how to use the credit card under the watchful eye of the parent, without being financially responsible for the account. Since the bank would report the account history to the teenager's credit bureau file, it also helped the teen start building his or her own credit history.

While this practice began with good intentions, recently several websites have begun offering services to boost a FICO score by adding their customer as an authorized user to a complete stranger's credit account in good standing. The customer never actually gains access to the credit account. Instead, the arrangement intentionally misrepresents the customer's own credit history to the FICO scoring formula, as well as to lenders and other businesses. Courts and government agencies have yet to rule on whether this practice is legal. However, to protect FICO scores, Fair Isaac is changing its FICO scoring formula so that it will no longer recognize authorized-user accounts.

So, to answer your question: no, we would not recommend that you be added as an authorized user to someone's credit card just to raise your FICO score. However, there are definitely things you should know about your FICO score and establishing your credit history – this free booklet is a good place to start. You might also benefit from hearing what people are saying about establishing credit on the FICO Forums.

Trying to buy a home when you have a limited credit history can be difficult, but be wary of web sites stating they can boost your FICO score to help you qualify for the best rates on a mortgage. In fact, some of these sites may be advising you to commit mortgage loan fraud – such as by providing false financial documents in your loan application.

Sorry to say, there is no quick solution to building up your credit history – like getting into shape; it takes time and diligence. Hopefully, we've provided some advice to point you in the right direction. Almost as important as knowing the things you can do to establish your credit is knowing the things you shouldn't do! From all of us at myFICO, we wish you success in building your credit and finding your dream home.